So here we are with the latest MakeItGood x FKOF feature, a fantastic interview with Foul Matta. And to top it off, he’s gone and produced one of the best mixes we’ve had in the series in ages – a 52m, 27 track and 3 deck mammoth…
Who is Foul Matta?
My name is James Thody, I am 27 and go under the alias of Foul Matta. I’m originally from Hertfordshire but am currently residing in Norfolk. I like to mix the deep dark bass music!
What got you into mixing dubstep?
I think it was back in early ‘09 when a friend of mine took me along to this night called Stink Like Sock. I literally had zero clue what dubstep was back then. But I can just remember walking through the main doors and being welcomed by this rediculous wave of sub and thinking “Wow, I have never heard or felt anything like this before”! It went from there really. I re-bought some Technic 1210s and a shed load of vinyl about a month after and that’s where it all began.
How would you describe your style when playing out?
When I play out, I tend to lean towards the more aggressive side of the genre – while keeping a deep integrity. I’ve always been that way really, when I mixed drum’n’bass I was heavily into guys like Ed Rush & Optical, Bad Company, Stakka and Skynet, Keaton, Konflict etc. And during my break inbetween I loved bands like Metallica, The Prodigy & Muse. But I also appreciate and play some more deeper and subtle sounding beats as well. I have also always admired the technical talents of Andy C, Youngsta, Mampi Swift & T_! so I like to encompass a technical style in all my sets.
How long have you DJing?
I have been DJing for a total of about 13 years now; but there was a 5 year break in between where I left drum’n’bass. So I’d say 8 years total really. 5 years DnB and 3 years dubstep.
Turntables or CDJs for when you play out?
I’m pretty much 100% CDs now. I was certainly one of them ones back in the day who was like “Pfffft CDJs are for cheaters”. But in this day and age CDJs/ digital are a given. If you’re getting sent music by producers and can’t afford to get them cut to plate then they’re [CDs] needed. And if you like to buy a lot of tunes then it’s going to be an expensive hobby. I’ve also found that a lot of clubs these days don’t service their turntables. I can tell you there is nothing more frustrating than cueing a record and it jumps just before the cue point. But then on the flip side nothing sounds quite like vinyl. The physical feel of vinyl is certainly more fun to mix. I do still buy vinyl of my favourite releases though. And if a release is exclusive to vinyl only then I will obviously purchase said tunes!
You’re a regular DJ with Cambridge’s Stink Like Sock, how did the relationship come about? Any other residencies or affiliations planned?
I’ve known T_! (Stink Like Sock) for about 10 years. When I first got into dubstep I would pick his brain on a regular basis. He gave me some great advice as I wanted to start up a small local bass night myself – that’s where I met the other two thirds of Stink Like Sock (Swiss & Daddy Genius). We became friends and later that year they asked if i’d like to play the Sock, which was an absolute honour for me, as it was the first big dubstep night I had been to and the first big night dubstep I would get to play. The Sock guys also run Bass Box/Cambridge Gold at the Fez in Cambridge where I’ve played a few times. They also recently ran a tent at this years Natural Rythm festival in Ely on the 6th n 7th July, which was wicked. I got to play along side Mungos HI FI, Sleeper, Thelem, Killawatt and the the Stink Like Sock team. It was my first festival booking and really I enjoyed it. Absolutely love a festival vibe, it’s a nice change to a dark room with a fat stack of speakers.
What’s been your best gig to date?
Best night I’ve played would have to be the Stink Like Sock VS Black Box night last November at the Junction. I’ve never experienced a vibe like that, the system was huuuuuge. The dance was rammed and was one of the most memorable hours that I can remember. One of those where you come off stage with the old cheshire cat grin, proper buzzing.
[Footage from the Stink Like Sock vs. Black Box night]
Who are your top 5 dubstep producers at the moment; and why? Which labels are you feeling at the moment?
- Number one for me has to be Distance. For me he makes the exact dubstep sound that I want to hear. Such agression, but done with such class. I just find his atmospherics/hooks/bass/percussion and all round production just impeccable.
- Sleeper. Can see a trend starting here ey? There’s been a surge of great producers who have come through over the last year or so. But for me Sleeper is just smashing it. ‘Zombies' was is in my top tunes 5 of last year, I heard the VIP on a rig recently and it was just FKOFing sick. He also seems to make a lot of tunes quite quickly and it seems that quality over quantity is never an issue. Each track I hear from him is just superb. And each one always seems better then the last.
- Goth-Trad. Doesn’t really need explaining does it? His recent album on Deep Medi is amazing. I can listen to that from track one all the way to the end without ever thinking “hmmm skip this tune” – I think that’s a rarerity, especially when it comes to dubstep.
- Phaeleh. I don’t play alot of his stuff in my sets, but his music is so beautiful. So well written, it really is a work of art. His set at last years Outlook festival was easily (for me) the best of the festival. No other producer/DJ has been able to evoke emotion out of me like that. Again another very memorable moment.
- Demon. ‘Wife Beater' & 'Chang Caine' are all time percys. All his tunes are so crsip, clear, weighty, well structured (from a DJ's point of view), aggressive yet deep and again makes a lot of tunes but the quality is never sacrificed. His M.U.D. label is doing great and so it should. He's got a great group of producers releasing on that label and so far each release has been insta-bag material.
What’s the future of dubstep - where do you see the genre going? Where do you see it fitting in within the ‘bass music’ spectrum?
I think the future of dubstep is a positive one. There just seems to be so many great producers coming through. And as long as they keep pushing the sound and boundaries it will just continue to grow.
Any forthcoming releases we can look forward to?
Unfortunatley I don’t produce at present. I have messed around with programmes like Reason and Fruity Loops but my laptop just can’t handle it and after entering a few tracks it just wants to die. Production is something that I definitley want to get into though, I’ve got loads of ideas that I would love to lay down but i’m going to have to wait until I can get a decent computer, software, monitors etc as I want to do it properly.
Have you got any advice to upcoming DJs/ Producers looking to get their music heard or signed?
Stay true to yourself and the sound you’re passionate about. Promote what you’re into instead of moaning about what you’re not. It is hard at times (and I’m speaking from experience!) but nothing good can come from negativity. Be original, experimental creative and always have fun. In regards to getting yourself out there as a DJ; practice, practice, practice. Be humble. Nobody wants to book a diva with an ego. Send your mixes to people/ promoters you think might like them, go to the nights, network and talk to people and eventually if you stick at you will find a way through.
Tell us about your mix for MakeItGood x FKOF…
For the mix I just wanted to represent the sound that I’m passionate about. As I said previously, I’ve always admired technical ability when it comes to mixing, so a lot of this mix is using 3 decks. I kind of find myself getting bored if a tune is played out for too long – and feel that mixing 3 tunes and being creative with it is a good way around this and keeps things interesting. Selection wise I have played a few of the newish producers that I’m really feeling at the moment, along with a couple of anthems and a few classics thrown in for good measure.
Yes! I’d like to shout out the whole sock family. T_!, Swiss & Daddy G; they have really helped me over the last few years, some great bookings, some great advice and they are all stand up chaps. All the Bass Box/Cambridge Gold crew; Jarmz, Timba, Nelson, Whittz, Scylla, Dee. All the producers that are kind enough to send me their beats Caski, Gantz, Sparxy, Variations, Wayfarer, Tallan, Gutcha, Porta, One Third, Chad Dubz. Raff aka Demon and the whole M.U.D gang. Benny G and your kind selves at FKOF/MIG letting me release this mix [big ups]!
3 people (dead or alive) you’d go to the pub with?
- Will Ferell. The guy’s a legend, who wouldn’t want him as your drinking buddy?! Would just be sooo funny. Love all his films and if you ever meet me and I come out with a random quote, it’s probably from a Ferell film.
- Distance. As most peeps have witnessed on GetDarker he seems like a funny drunk. Would love to pick his brains about production and get him to drink enough that he’d send me his beats.
- Justin Bieber. Just so I could have strong words and kindly advise him to stick to teen pop and not to try… Whatever it is he’s currently trying.
Favourite dubstep track of all time?
Wow, thats a tough question. I’d probably have to say ‘Sunshine' by Macabre Unit. It was the one tune I kind of knew before I knew what dubstep was. I remember it being played at the first Stink Like Sock that I went to. The hook is beautiful. The drop is devastating and for me I feel that it is definitley a timeless track.
- Tallan - The Rider [dub]
- Icicle - Together in Dust [Shogun Audio]
- Goth-Trad - Seeker [Deep Medi]
- Jay Five & Kromestar - Deepest Fears [Bass n Love]
- Dark Tantrums - Unborn [Deep Medi]
- Wayfarer - Fierce [dub]
- Demon - Chang Caine [M.U.D]
- Sparxy - Battousai [Bokane Audio]
- DCult - Inner Peace [M.U.V]
- Distance - Beyond [Chestplate]
- Distance - Meanstreak [Chestplate]
- Sparxy & I.D. - Shredder [dub]
- Perverse - The Iceman [Artikal]
- Chapta - Magic [dub]
- One Third - Honesty [dub]
- DJ Madd ft. Lady Maroo - Deeply [Black Box]
- Icicle - Acid Step [Shogun Audio]
- Sleeper - Zombies [Chestplate]
- The Bug ft. Flowdan & Killa P - Skeng [Ninja Tune Records]
- Coki - All Of A Sudden [Deep Medi]
- Variations - Got you Stuck [dub]
- Biome - No Soul [Dubstep For Deep Heads]
- Cyrus - Rupture [Chestplate]
- Dark Tantrums - The Growler [Origin Audio]
- Thelem - Drones (Core remix) [FKOF free download]
- Vicious Circle - Not Afraid [Crunch Recordings]
- Gantz ft. Beezy - First Born [dub]